HON. THADDEUS D. SEELEY, one of the best known citizens of Oakland County, Michigan, and the able Representative from the First District in the State Legislature, owns a fine farm of 160 acres in section 16, Bloomfield township. Mr. Seeley comes of pioneer ancestry, his grandparents settling in Michigan in 1827. He was born at Pontiac, in 1867, and is a son of George H. and Sarah L. (Prall) Seeley.
George H. Seeley was born at Waterford township in 1841 and is a son of Ira C. and Matilda (Dewey) Seeley, the former of whom was born in Seneca County, New York. Ira C. Seeley came with the pioneers of 1827 to Oakland County and settled in Waterford township, where he remained until 1852, when he removed to what is known as the old Harvey Seeley farm, now owned by the Eastern Michigan Asylum. He owned some 300 acres, the greater part of which land is now included in the city limits of Pontiac. His death occurred in 1878, at the age of 67 years. In his early manhood Ira C. Seeley was a Whig, but became in later days a Republican, but never was willing to accept public office. He was a consistent member of the Congregational Church. The grandmother of our subject was born in Orion township, Oakland County, and was a daughter of Josiah Dewey, who came to Michigan from Vermont. He was locally known as Deacon Dewey on account of his activity in the founding and supporting of the Congregational Church. He died on his farm in 1855, at the age of 84 years. Mrs. Seeley was one of a large family, the two survivors being residents of Greenville, Michigan, and of Iowa, the death of Mrs. Seeley occurring in 1884, at the age of 74 years. Thus passed away two of the early pioneers of the county, whose uprightness of character, wholesome and hospitable manners and genuine Christianity left an impress upon their community.
The father of our subject now lives retired at Pontiac. He was reared in Waterford township and completed his education at the Pontiac High School. His first farming was done on land which was then in Pontiac township, but now lies within the city limits. This he sold and purchased the old homestead, which later became a part of the land dedicated to the Eastern Michigan Asylum, Mr. Seeley selling a part of it in 1887 and the balance in 1888. In 1889 he removed to Orchard Lake, where he operated the Orchard Lake Hotel for five years; this property he disposed of in 1894, and removed to Pontiac. One year later he assumed control of the farm of 150 acres on the Franklin road in Bloomfield township, which he still operates as a dairy farm, having a reliable tenant, but visiting it every day and keeping a strict supervision over it. He has taken much pride in stocking the farm with fine dairy breeds, having Jerseys and Holsteins, it being his experience that the larger breeds of cattle are the most profitable. Mr. Seeley also owns much valuable property in Pontiac and is one of the county's capitalists. In politics he is a stanch Republican. He married Sarah A. Prall, who was born in the State of New York, and is a daughter of Johnson S. Prall, who came to Oakland county in 1851, locating first in Troy township, but later removing to Pontiac, where he followed the profession of architect and trade of joiner. Many of the best buildings of the city were designed and constructed by him. His death took place in 1894, at the age of 78 years, his children being as follows: Edwin, an architect at Pontiac; Cassius M., the architect of the asylum at Traverse City, Michigan, where he resides; Judson L., in the same line at the Eastern Michigan Asylum, where he is assistant architect; Raymond, who died some 10 years ago while in the South; Marcus, a bricklayer and contractor, who lives at Ionia; Johnson, who is engaged at the Eastern Michigan Asylum; Henry, who is also engaged at the same institution as an architect, carpenter and builder; Silvia, who is the widow of William Furse at Waterford; Sarah L., the mother of our subject; and Carrie, who married William Taylor of the village of Waterford. The two children born to George H. Seeley and wife are: Thaddeus D., of this sketch, and Bessie E., who is the wife of Robert Wallace, who is connected with the Lufkin Rule Company of Saginaw, Michigan.
Thaddeus D. Seeley was reared on a farm and has been interested in agricultural affairs all his life. He resides in Bloomfield township on a beautiful farm which is delightfully situated on the banks of Long Lake and is known throughout the country as Shady Bank Farm, a great depot for the vaccine and experimental cattle used by Parke, Davis & Company of Detroit. He has long been an extensive stock dealer, handling some 2,000 cattle annually. Mr. Seeley had been one of the leaders of the Republican party in the First District for a number of years and most honorably and efficiently performs the duties of Representative. He has filled every local office except that of supervisor, accepting but never soliciting any preferment. He has always had large financial interests to look after, but has invariably given both money and time to encourage public enterprises tending to promote the welfare of the people and the advancement of his section.
In 1888 Mr. Seeley was united in marriage with Eva M. Palmer, who was born in Pontiac in 1867, and is a daughter of Samuel A. and Mary (Kimble) Palmer. The three children of this marriage are: Florence L., Mabel P. and George P. Fraternally Mr. Seeley is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the A. I. U. and the B. P. O. E.
Last Reviewed: 10/29/2020 MR